Te Kākano Aotearoa Trust is a Wānaka community-based native plant nursery that specialises in propagating plants of local origin (Upper Clutha region) and uses these plants for localised native habitat restoration. We work with local community groups, schools, organisations & businesses in the effort to promote hands-on community land care. 


Nursery Sessions - Nursery volunteer days are open to all members of the public and are held every Tuesday & Wednesday from 9am-12pm (Spring/Summer) and 1pm-4pm (Autumn/Winter). These volunteer sessions teach propagation/cultivation techniques, leading on to planting and nurturing of the young plants in the wild and are guided by our Nursery Manager. We provide Venus coffee, tea and snacks for all our volunteers and you also get the chance to soak in the views on our deck.


Planting Projects - Each year, we identify and undertake habitat restoration projects to create islands of new native bush and enrich existing areas to provide precious habitat for our local wildlife. Work at these planting projects takes the form of maintenance days (watering and weeding) and planting days (putting the plants into the ground). Project days are on Saturdays with maintenance during the summer and planting between May and November. Dates are advertised in the calendar below, on our Facebook page, and in the Wanaka Messenger.




If you have queries contact us, info@tekakano.org.nz

Nursery Sessions:

Every Tuesday & Wednesday


October 1 - March 31: 9am - 12

April 1 - September 30: 1pm - 4pm

Nursery sessions are canceled on rainy days.

Please stay away if you are unwell or have been unwell in the 48 hours beforehand.

The nursery sessions are still running during the school holidays. Call in and help us grow more native plants!

Planting sessions:

The planting season is finished for this year. We will start again in April/May.

Thank you to everyone who helped. We planted just under 4,000 native trees & shrubs in the Upper Clutha basin this year!

Annual General Meeting:

Our AGM was postponed. The  documents that would have been presented are available here (scroll down to Trust documents).  The Trust is in a very good shape and there are no urgent matters to advise of.

Celebrations & season's greetings

Despite all the disruption we had this year, we managed to plant 3,916 native trees and shrubs with the community in and around Wānaka. We also planted 5,000 plants as part of the riparian planting programme with WAI Wānaka.

We celebrated the end of the year with a lovely BBQ near the nursery. It was great to share some food, drinks and nice conversations with our wonderful volunteers. Thank you to all who came along!

We also organised and enjoyed a farewell party for Andrew at Rippon Hall. Andrew retired from his nursery manager role in February but we were only able to organise a party in December. We acknowledged Andrew & Sue's amazing work and dedication for our local environment. What a great celebration it was!

To all of you a massive thank you for your ongoing support!

Best wishes for the festive season and New Year!

December 2020


We held our annual hui with the local habitat restoration/reforestation trusts at the nursery.

Once again it was fantastic to share our various experiences and challenges, and talked passionately about native plants.

Thank you to the trustees and staff from Mokihi Trust, Haehaeata Natural Heritage Trust and Wakatipu Reforestation Trust for being part of this gathering.

Next year, we shall gather in Cromwell at the Mokihi Trust's nursery.

November 2020

More changes in the Board of Trustees

Ali O'Brien stepped down as a Trustee but stays a volunteer for Te Kākano!

Ali has contributed an enormous number of hours, firstly as administrator, then as a trustee over many years. We will miss her huge capacity for giving time as well as her intelligent and considered input to the board's work. Thank you Ali very much for all your hard work over the years, we really appreciate it.

September 2020

Special planting at Eely Point

We had a special planting at Eely Point on the 19th September. We organised a commemorative planting, as part of the Matariki Rākau project (Te Uru Rākau - NZ Foresty). We planted 120 native trees with more than 50 enthusiastic volunteers to honour local members of the NZ Defence Force past and present. The project was organised with the local RSA and QLDC. A plaque was laid at the site.

Thank you to everyone who helped.

We are hoping to plan many more native plants at this special site in future years.

September 2020

Back to alert level 1 !

We are so pleased to be back to alert level 1!

It means that nursery volunteers no longer have to register before coming to the nursery sessions.

We will still have the QR code available for you to scan at planting & nursery sessions.

Stay away if you are unwell.

September 2020

Back to alert level 2

We share the disappointment of need for us to revert to operating under level 2, but welcome you at the nursery sessions to share in good company and conversation!

We are asking you to:

  • Stay away if you are unwell, or have been unwell in the 48 hours before hand

  • Bring your own gloves, drinking vessel and food

  • Leave your pack, etc in the designated storage area and use the hand sanitizer available

  • Sign in and out of a nursery session and leave a phone number each time

  • Maintain physical distancing, keeping 2+ metres between yourself and others

  • Advise us if you become unwell and have attended a session

  • Wash your hands! We have 2 hand washing stations and some hand sanitiser available

  • We may cancel a nursery session at short notice, we will advise you by email and Facebook (and please remember that nursery sessions are generally cancelled on rainy days)

  • Help us protect the community and yourself by following our new practices

  • Please, understand that we respect your decision to stay away if you feel at risk and we will welcome you back when you return

  • Be kind!

From the 17th August, and if we are still in alert level 2, we will limit the nursery sessions to 10 people and ask you to register via email, info@tekakano.org.nz

We will keep you posted about our planting sessions. They could be postponed at short notice

August 2020

Changes in the Board of Trustees

Ben Taylor has taken over the chair role for the trust from Nick Mills. We would like to acknowledge Nick's huge contribution as founder, trustee and two stints as chair! He has been instrumental in developing and growing the trust over the last 11 years and we are thankful that he is remaining on as a trustee.

We are also very lucky to be able to welcome two new trustees, Andrew Gawith and Emma Conyngham onto the Board. Andrew comes with a wealth of business and governance experience from the world of economics and Emma comes with fantastic skills in the media and communications space.

We are also saying goodbye to Neil Woodrow as a trustee extraordinaire who has given a huge amount of his time over the last 6 years, in particular as treasurer and as the lead on the Fresh Water Improvement project. Thank you Neil for all your hard work as a trustee!

July 2020

Neil (left) helping out at one of our plantings

Volunteer Sessions - welcome back to "normal"

It is great to announce that under Alert Level 1 there are no limitations

on the number of volunteers at our nursery and planting sessions.

Welcome back everybody.


We are continuing with some of the practices we adopted under

Covid-19 levels, as we found them to be beneficial.

We encourage you to:

  • Bring your own gloves, and drinking vessel

  • Wash your hands! We have 2 hand washing stations and hand sanitiser available

  • Stay away if you are unwell, or have been unwell in the 48 hours beforehand

  • Advise us if you become unwell and have attended a session

We also will be asking you to register for planting sessions you want to attend. This is to help plan our planting events, but if you decide to come and have not registered, then you are still welcome.

You can register via email (info@tekakano.org.nz) or via our Facebook page

June 2020





Mary Smit

Triple Glazing NZ



Anonymous donors

Crowe Horwath



A: Off Mt Aspiring Rd, Lake Wanaka

    PO Box 550, Wanaka 9343

Text: 021 298 1068 (Volunteer sessions, Nursery)

E: info@tekakano.org.nz (other enquiries)



John & Jill Blennerhassett

Sargood Bequest

© Te Kakano Aotearoa Trust